Joe Cowley was born on Friday, August 15, 1958, in Lexington, Kentucky. Cowley was 23 years old when he broke into the big leagues on April 13, 1982, with the Atlanta Braves. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Joe Cowley baseball stats page.
"In five games he was 0-4 with a 15.43 ERA. In a mere 11 1/3 innings of work, he had surrendered 21 hits and 17 walks. 'It was like a voodoo curse,' Cowley says in a choked voice. 'My control was near perfect in practice, but against live hitters I couldn't put the ball over the plate. I don't know if it was my shoulder, the manager, the coaches, the hecklers. I wanted to do so well, but it was beyond my control. Isn't that something? Beyond my control.' His coaches fussed like old birds. Straighten up, they said; apply yourself. Junk your cut fastball, they said; throw your sinker. But their advice didn't make a dent. 'I threw and I threw and I threw, and nothing ever turned out right,' Cowley says. 'Every game had the same result. I guess I had Steve Blass disease.' Blass , the hero of the 1971 World Series , won 19 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates in '72 before he lost his control and walked his way out of baseball in '74." - Sportswriter Franz Lidz in Sports Illustrated (May 04, 1992, 'Flashes In The Pan', Page 61)
Joe Cowley Autograph on a 1985 Topps Baseball Card (#769 | Checklist )
Joe Cowley Pitching Stats
Joe Cowley Hitting Stats
Joe Cowley Fielding Stats
|1986 White Sox||P||27||27||487||36||1.3||32||16||16||4||0||n/a||n/a||n/a||.889||1.77|
Joe Cowley Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
|1986 White Sox||0||0||.000||0||1||0||0.0||0.0||0.0||1.59||7.32||4.60|
Joe Cowley Miscellaneous Items of Interest
|Team [Click for Roster]||Uniform Numbers||Salary||All-Star||World Series|
|1982 Atlanta Braves||38||$33,500.00||-||-|
|1984 New York Yankees||41||$50,000.00||-||-|
|1985 New York Yankees||41||$120,000.00||-||-|
|1986 Chicago White Sox||40||$295,000.00||-||-|
|1987 Philadelphia Phillies||39||$305,000.00||-||-|
|Joe Cowley Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Did you know that on
September 19, 1986
, Joe Cowley threw the fourteenth no-hitter in Chicago White Sox history? In a strange twist of fate, Cowley did not win another decision for the rest of 1986 (two losses and one no decision) and in 1987 had four losses and one no decision making him the only pitcher in Major League history never to win another game after pitching a no-hitter.
Joe Cowley No Hitter | The Sun (San Bernardino, CA) | September 20, 1986 | Sports, Page C1
Joe Cowley No Hitter (Box Score: 09-19-1986 )
Wildness led to Joe Cowley's early departure from the big leagues, and it almost caused him to miss out on a no-hitter.
Working in a September 19 game before 28,647 at Anaheim Stadium, the 28-year-old righthander whitewashed the California Angels, but in the process walked seven while striking out eight. Cowley, who took a 10-9 record into the game, was opposed by Kirk McCaskill .
Cowley, who had spent more than one month in the minors earlier in the season after getting roughed up in his first start for the White Sox, threw 138 pitches, half of which were balls. He almost didn't make it out of the sixth inning when he walked three straight batters with none out, and was within one batter of getting yanked.
The heavy-set hurler had been in trouble before that. After retiring the first even Angels, he walked Dick Schofield with one out in the third. Schofield stole second, but was then thrown out by catcher Ron Karkovice trying to steal third. Cowley then walked Bob Boone , but struck out Gary Pettis to end the inning.
The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth when the White Sox pushed over two runs on singles by Daryl Boston , Steve Lyons and Ted Baines , and two fielder's choice ground outs. Chicago added another run in the fifth on an RBI double by Boston, and three more in the eighth with the help of RBI singles by Ron Hassey and Russ Morman and a throwing error by Angels right fielder Devon White . Karkovice homered in the ninth for the Chisox.
The sixth inning almost proved to be Cowley's undoing. He walked Boone , Pettis and Joyner leading off the inning. On the verge of being pulled, Cowley settled down and got Downing on a pop up to second. Jackson hit a fly to center that scored Boone before Cowley escaped further damage by retiring DeCinces on another pop up to second.
Guillen bailed out Cowley again in the ninth. Cowley walked Downing to start the inning, but got Jackson on a fly to center. DeCinces followed with a bouncer to short. Guillen gloved it, flipped to Jack Perconte at second to get Downing , with the return throw reaching Morman at first in time to nail the batter and end the game.
This was not one of the most picturesque no-hitters ever pitched. But Cowley got the job done. He finished the season with an 11-11 record.
New York Yankee pitching coach Marc Connor once said (Sports Illustrated, 05/04/1992, Page 57) "He (Joe Cowley) couldn't throw the ball straight—even his fastballs moved," and it's clear that Cowley suffered from control issues, but on
May 28, 1986
, the American League record for
most consecutive strikeouts starting from the first batter faced
(7) was set by Joe Cowley (article below).
Joe Cowley Record Setting Game | The Index-Journal (Greenwood, SC) | May 29, 1986 | Page 15
Joe Cowley once said, "I guess I had Steve Blass disease" (see full quote at top of page) which is defined by author Paul Dickson in The Dickson Baseball Dictionary (W. W. Norton & Company, 03/02/2009, Page 826) as "A condition by which a pitcher suddenly loses his ability to throw strikes, inexpicably issues an extraordinary number of bases on balls, fears home plate, and/or suffers from a complete loss of control. Named for the Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher ( Steve Blass ) who lost his control in 1973 by issuing 84 walks and hitting 12 batters in 88.2 innins. In 1972, it had taken him 249.2 innings to issue 84 walks. The medical term is 'focal occupational dystonia,' a condition that causes victims (such as golfers and pianists) to have unwanted, involuntary movements in the middle of their performances. Victims of the disease have included Kevin Saucier , Joe Cowley, Steve Trout , Bruce Ruffin , and Rick Ankiel ."